The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has scrambled Typhoon fighter jets to intercept four Russian Bear military aircraft.
The service sent Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth in north-east Scotland.
It was in response to two Russian Tu-95 Bear H long-range bombers and two Tu-142 Bear F maritime patrol aircraft approaching UK airspace.
A Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire supported the Typhoon aircraft in monitoring the Russian jets.
An RAF spokesman was quoted by the BBC as saying: “Quick reaction alert Typhoon fighters based at RAF Lossiemouth supported by a Voyager from RAF Brize Norton were scrambled today against unidentified aircraft approaching the UK area of interest.
“Subsequently, we intercepted and escorted four Russian Bear aircraft.”
The RAF also added that “at no time did the Russian bombers enter UK sovereign airspace.”
This is not the first time that RAF jets have conducted quick reaction alert missions to maintain the integrity of the UK and Nato airspace.
However, the incident draws attention as it comes at a time when tensions are increasing between Ukraine and Russia.
On 1 February, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
The leaders discussed the ongoing Russian military build-up around Ukraine and agreed to work together to bolster the latter’s security and help defend its sovereignty.
Boris Johnson also announced £88m of new funding for Ukraine.